On Sunday, August 15th, lay Mill Hill Missionary associates Toos Beentjes and Corry van de Bosch renewed their contract of association.
Toos Beentjes signed her fist contract of association in March 1973. She served as a missionary in diverse places and different capacities: in Malaysia, as a member of the Mission Promotion team in the Netherlands, in Chile, and lately among Hispanics in Amsterdam and surrounding areas.
Prior to renewing her contract she wrote to the General Council of the Mill Hill MIssionaries:
At the end of the recent five-year period of contract arises the moment to look back and also to look forward. No doubt after 48 years I am part of the Mill Hill family. But in my personal estimation more than just a feeling of belonging is needed to sign a new contract. That is why I ask myself: do I still have a missionary outlook on life and what is my actual missionary challenge?
At different levels I am still involved in missionary activities. They also have a bearing on my way of life. A few years ago, I opted to live in a Christian community. At present this ecumenical community is both international and intercultural. I am the eldest of the community and the youngest is just one month old. There are single persons and married couples. Together we are a group of 12 adults and 6 children. It gives us the opportunity to question our Christian commitment in the place where we live and work, so that there is more in life than just cosy family life and to read the signs of our times. I experience this as a new impulse for missionary life and it keeps me alert to put into practice my personal motto: ‘don’t stay where you are but look around to see what’s happening’.
As a member of the Dutch Regional Council, I attend the meetings of BEMIN (Advisory Board of Missionaries in the Netherlands). This board arose to evaluate and to share ideas and information regarding the role of missionaries from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the Netherlands. A number of missionary congregations participate. Recently the board published a document detailing their mission-statement. I participated in the commission to prepare the document.
At the moment I am still involved in Casa Migrante and the Hispanic parishes in Amsterdam and Utrecht. I am in dialogue with the direction of Casa Migrante about my role in the coming years and also with the Parish Council, so that other persons can take over some of my responsibilities. So, the next few years will be a time to be less active and a time to prepare others.
As you will understand I intend to continue with my active missionary life, that’s why I apply for a new contract of five years. And like the title of a book by Erik Borgman, theologian and lay member of the Dominicans: “Leven van wat komt” (To live what will come) shows, I just continue to do what I feel and like to do as an associate of the Mill Hill Missionaries and trust what will come.
Toos Beentjes mhm